The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church on the session held in the Patriarchate of Pec on July 5, 1999 has issued the following


Having considered tragic events and their consequences during the civil war in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as the NATO bombing of our country, the Holy Synod of Bishops wants to express its deepest regret and compassion for all who suffered or still suffer from the consequences of this unprecedented tragedy.

We express our sincere hope that KFOR and the UNMIK with their presence and the active participation in stabilizing the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, as well their work on establishing the civil administration in this province of Serbia will contribute to the restoration of the normal life and coexistence of all national communities.

We expect from the international forces to urgently stop and prevent terror against the Serbian, Slav Moslem and Gypsy civilians which is being performed by members of the KLA and other groups of Kosovo Albanians or the neighboring Albania with attempt to complete ethnic cleansing of the Serbian people under the protection of the KFOR.

We also expect from the honest representatives of the Albanian people to energetically prevent further retaliation and revenge to which innocent population is being exposed by one part of their compatriots. All crimes committed by any side in the course of this tragic civil and ethnic conflict must be evenhandedly treated before the international courts in order that both divine and human justice is satisfied.

Hoping that the political situation in Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, including Kosovo and Metohija, will be changed to the better, we appeal on all participants of this irrational war to manifest true repentance, forgiveness and mutual reconciliation which will be a sound foundation for the future joint life.

We also call our Serbian people, who fled from the terror as well as the NATO bombing to return to their Kosovo and Metohija shrines, to the graves of their ancestors and their homes and fully cooperate with the international forces to reestablish a proper rule of law and the joint life of all in Kosovo and Metohija.